by Dave Kranzler, Investment Research Dynamics:
Comex gold contracts were brought to life in 1974. Correspondence between senior officials in, and advisors to, the Nixon Administration discussed the need to create an “investment” vehicle to “capture” institutional investment money directed into gold in order to prevent the rapid rise in gold after Nixon closed the gold window. If you are curious, the letters are posted in the GATA archive (GATA.org).
Since the introduction of paper gold, the Comex – gold and silver trading – has evolved into what can only be described as a caricature of a “market.” The open interest in gold contracts is nearly 10x the amount of physical gold reportedly held in Comex vaults; it’s 60x the amount of “registered” gold, or the gold designated as available for delivery. The net short position of the Commercial trader category per the current COT report – “commercials” are primarily the banks which make markets on the Comex – is 134k contracts, or 4,225 tons of paper gold. Global annual gold production is around 2,700 tons.